The New Schools Performance Tables 2011
We are pleased that the new performance tables are providing parents with more information that will enable them to put school results into proper context. No longer are parents left to judge a school using just one simplistic headline figure that fails to present a full picture. Nor did it ever explain the huge differences between schools. Parents can now look at the ability profile of students as well as other information to help understand the context of individual schools and year groups. And for the first time parents can start to unravel the gaming and distortion that previous league tables have created.
At Sir Jim’s we haven’t been gaming. We know our traditional academic curriculum is challenging for many of our students but we believe it is the best preparation for study Post 16 and beyond to University. The new performance tables show that our students in each of the ability bands achieve average grades as good as and even better than other schools not just locally but across Cornwall. Our English Baccalaureate score, a tough measure, places students at Sir James Smith’s 5th best out of 31 secondary schools inCornwall – another reason to be proud of our students.
The more information we have about young people’s achievement the better. The good thing about the new information is it will remove some of the perverse incentives to score points for the sake of league tables. For the first time a broad range of measures will help highlight how schools are making a real impact. We hope parents will learn to dig beneath the throw away headline figure and gain a fuller understanding of the excellent work that is going in our schools. The simple league table is dead, long live the new performance tables.
To see a copy of the DfE 2011 School Performance Tables summary chart, please click here.
Message from the Senior Leadership Team at Sir James Smith’s CommunitySchool, January 30 2012.